Jakarta. Political analyst Maksimus Ramses Lalongkoe from the Indonesian Political Analysis Institute said a recent tweet by former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono lamenting the state of the country may have a negative impact on his son's approval rating less than a month before the Jakarta gubernatorial election.
Yudhoyono's son, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, is contesting the election with long-time bureaucrat Sylviana Murni as his running mate.
Maksimus said Yudhoyono's tweets tend to carry a negative tone, which often trigger widespread condemnation from the Indonesian public.
In the context of the Jakarta gubernatorial election, his most recent tweet could be more damaging than helpful to Agus' chance of winning the election next month.
"Agus's image is closely connected to SBY. Whenever SBY makes a political comment, it will have an impact on his son. The public seems to think SBY's tweets are too negative. Agus' approval rating may suffer because of them," Maksimus said in Jakarta on Saturday (21/01), referring to the former president by his initials.
The political analyst said Indonesians have reacted negatively to Yudhoyono's statements on social media, with many accusing the former president of being too pessimistic.
"SBY should refrain himself [from posting negative comments]. He should try to be more positive and optimistic if he wants people to respond in kind," Maksimus added.
Maksimus said the country currently does not have a strongman figure who can unite the whole nation.
"SBY should have seized this moment, take the role of the strongman to calm the public," he said.
The former president's most recent tweet railed against social media hoaxes, fake news and the people who make them go viral — posted on his official Twitter account @SBYudhoyono.
Ya Allah, Tuhan YME. Negara kok jadi begini. Juru fitnah & penyebar "hoax" berkuasa & merajalela. Kapan rakyat & yg lemah menang? *SBY*— S. B. Yudhoyono (@SBYudhoyono) January 20, 2017
"Good God, what's happened to this country? People in power are spreading slander and hoaxes. When will the people and the poor prevail?" Yudhoyono wrote in his tweet.
The Democratic Party chairman's tweet soon went viral, attracting much criticism and many retweets, with some making fun of his precious tone.
Over the past three months, Agus's approval rating has actually climbed. The former military major's campaign had been gaining momentum after hardline Muslim groups staged massive street rallies in Jakarta in November and December, demanding that incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama be imprisoned on blasphemy allegations.